|Proposed Start Date||August 2017|
|Assignment Location||Pakse, Laos|
Skilled in pest management? Take your entomology skills to Laos and help the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO) as they work with rural communities to improve productivity and crop exports. This assignment is supported by the Crawford fund as part of it’s Capacity Building Program in Lao PDR in Trade, Crop and Livestock Health, Biosecurity and Food Safety. Hon Prof Lester Burgess is the Coordinator of this program and will be your key mentor. You will also have professional support from over 40 E mentors in Australia and globally who provide advice as needed by email and Skype.
The Entomologist Trainer will work within the Agricultural Section of the PAFO in Pakse, which is responsible for matters relating to plant health and quarantine in this region. This assignment follows the successful development of a plant health diagnostic laboratory model from the previous and ongoing Australian Volunteer assignments. This model is primarily composed of a plant pathologist and entomologist volunteer, located in the key PAFO laboratories, delivering pest and disease diagnostic capability to provincial staff, and introducing workshops and training materials. This model has been developed in Champasak Province over the last three years and has been started in Savannakhet Province and you will be working in collaboration with at least three other AVID volunteers in rural science disciplines. You will be provided with the opportunity to gain valuable experience and develop your crop protection skills in pest and disease management, extensions services and crop agronomy. You will also assist Professor Burgess with small-holder training in-field and at a residential workshop on pest management in vegetables.
Your role will focus on building the capacity of the host organisation and staff to provide diagnostic services, and you’ll assess current knowledge and skills in basic entomology in the field and laboratory, and provide training and ongoing mentoring. You will also work to continue developing a small insect collection of key pests for reference by local staff. Duplicate specimens will be forwarded to international collections such as the Australian Museum. You will network with museum staff, who will provide diagnostic support and aid in accession of specimens into their insect collections. This process is designed to provide a sound scientific basis for checklists for quarantine and trade purposes, an important contribution to the export program.
Your role will strengthen the Agricultural Section of PAFO, and will greatly improve capacity to identify and manage insect pests, improve understanding of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in rural communities, and improve productivity and exports due to reduction of insect pest outbreaks.
Applications for this assignment are no longer open.